Three Pools Mirroring the Moon

Updated: Jun 14, 2018 Print


Santan Yinyue Islet, or Three Pools Mirroring the Moon Islet, is the biggest island in West Lake. Honored as the “First Scenic Spot of West Lake”, the islet boasts quiet and beautiful sceneries.

There are temples, pavilions, halls, a curved bridge and other architectures on the islet. Their carved beams and painted rafters are barely visible among the trees and flowers.  

In the southern water, three pagodas rise just two meters above the surface of the water. Each pagoda has five round holes, and when lit from within, it appears like there are a dozen moons mirrored in the lake.

As each pagoda lights up a limited area around it, the vastness of the unlit water is simply divided into three pools. This view of beauty and tranquility has a poetic name: Three Pools Mirroring the Moon.

The pagodas were built by Su Shi, a poet and governor of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), who was also responsible for the Su Causeway on the lake. They were rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and the nearby islet was constructed from silt and mud in 1607, with improvements and architectural additions put on later.

As part of the Top 10 scenes of West Lake, the pagodas was printed on the back of 1-yuan note and became a State-level relic in 2013.

Address: West Lake, Hangzhou

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